The CSULB marine biology department houses a shark lab on campus where student researchers can study marine life. Despite the ongoing pandemic, there has been no halt to their research.
“We were still able to do a lot of work during the pandemic, each year we tagged a record number of sharks,” said Chris Lowe, the Shark Lab director at Long Beach State.
While COVID-19 has paused some lab work, Lowe and student researchers created some progress in their research on shark behaviors. Lowe said that the research the team does is going well and that the Shark Lab has been well-funded throughout the pandemic.
Student researcher Emma Siegfried, a second year graduate student studying biology at CSULB, said that her experience in the Shark Lab has been helpful for her studies.
“Returning on campus has been really nice because it means we have extended access and gives us more time to do our research,” Siegfried said.
Zach Merson, a graduate student majoring in biology, said that the transition back to in-person research was subtle and that there was no big “return” for him.
“However, it has been easier to coordinate now that there’s more people around especially with the work involving a larger crew size,” Merson said.
Student researchers at the lab work with acoustic and satellite telemetry techniques to study the movement, behavior and physiology of sharks, rays, and gamefishes.
“I have amazing graduate students working on figuring out how often sharks and people interact in the ocean, how sharks choose what beaches as nurseries, what sharks are eating while they are there and whether food abundance determines how long they stay,” Lowe said.
For additional information about the Shark Lab visit their website.